TheVoiceOfJoyce Misinformation on a grand scale comes from ex President Trump and followers, retweeting at an unprecedented rate. Misinformation abounds on Facebook and Twitter, their algorithms promote retweets and up until a few months ago, on Twitter, politicians were given an unlimited platform for their campaigns and fund raising. Twitter has just banned misinformation on Covid and elections. Facebook has not and allows misinformation to polarize American Society and our Politics. When you look at the volume of tweets and retweets at least 50% are automated. Trump learned how to weaponize Social Media in the run up to the 2016 election. His retweets have been successful thru his grass roots network, beginning with Trump Jr, Lin Wood, Powell and Steve Bannon. The alt right has been planning their messaging for 30 yrs. With the advent of Social Media, AI and the Social Media business model, there is no regulation of malicious content. Most Platforms, excluding Twitter recently and TikTok this week, allow politicians leeway to say whatever they want. Considering the harm to the Public, Social Media Platforms require Congressional Legislation to protect us from lies and misinformation that harms us and our Democracy. Unfortunately, Voices for Democracy and the truth are not equally represented.

While researchers believe there is a significant degree of automation powering Trump’s megaphone, they do not contend that he or his supporters routinely break Twitter’s rules. The company allows enthusiastic followers to use software to automatically retweet people, and though the company bans “bulk retweeting,” it does not disclose at what point frequent retweeting crosses over into prohibited behavior. Twitter suspended 100 out of 200 sample accounts brought to its attention by The Washington Post for spammy activity or other violations.

Tech companies have spent the past four years preparing to fight foreign disinformation campaigns, but now they are confronted with a situation where their political caution and deference to free speech, coupled with the power of algorithms and loosely enforced rules, have turned their platforms into hubs of domestic misinformation — with the misleading comments often led by the president himself.

Twitter, for example, did not have a policy banning any form of misinformation until 2020, and until just months ago, both Twitter and Facebook exempted politicians — including Trump — from their rules on the grounds that their comments were too newsworthy to censor.

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